The 8 Best Hiking And Outdoor Apps

The 8 Best Hiking And Outdoor Apps We Love.

Alright folks it’s time to talk about apps! Here are the 8 must have apps for getting the most out of your adventure. We're going to break it down into two categories. Trip planning/recording and education. Apps have definitely made our lives easier and that is no different when we head into the outdoors. There are so many tools to help you plan out your next adventure and learn along the way! 

Gaia GPS 

We’ve talked about Gaia GPS a good amount before and its for a reason. Gaia GPS is the app for planning your next trip. With Gaia GPS you can easily plan out your next backpacking trip and send the route to your phone, your watch, your GPS device, or just save as a GPX file. There are dozens of different map layers available to give you all the info you could ever need. We love using their Nat Geo Trails Illustrated maps for the most detail and to be able to easily match up our routes to Nat Geo’s paper maps.  


AllTrails has become a favorite hiking app because they make it so easy to find trails either nearby or at the location of your choosing. AllTrails makes it easy to find your next hike by allowing you to filter exactly what you’re looking for. Interested in hiking a loop trail or an out and back? You can select for those! Want to hike a certain distance? You can easily filter trails by mileage, exclude mountain bike trails, and lots of other great options.  


For the mountain biking folks out there this is the app for you. We are based in Colorado and when we open the app it immediately shows us that we’ve got 7,015 trails to choose from and then it breaks it down by difficulty level. Pretty awesome. You can pan and zoom around in to see all the trails in your area. This also works offline as long as you’ve downloaded the regional maps.  

Something cool about this app is that you can mark whether or not you’ve ridden it. When there are hundres of trails in an area this can be a really cool feature. You also have the option of selecting a trail and routing your self to it, which is awesome whether you’re on the trail or you’re on the way to the trailhead.

TrailForks is the best app for mountain biking


WorkOutdoors is not an app that gets a lot of hype but it really ought to. This is the best app for tracking your hike, bike ride, trail run, paddle session, and just about everything else. WorkOutdoors also has an app for the Apple Watch and it is hands down the best watch experience out there. What we love about WorkOutdoors is just how incredibly customizable it is. You can choose from hundeds of variables to track so you can see all the information you want. You can easily take your GPX file from Gaia and import it into the WorkOutdoors  

WorkOutdoors is our favorite app for actually tracking your activity


You may recognize this app as GutHook. They changed the name a while ago but the app remains largely the same. FarOut allows you to plan your next long trek in great detail. One of the best features in the FarOut app is the ability to see water sources. These water sources can also be user edited/submitted by people using the app so you can get the most up to date information possible. We'll just give you a word of caution to not rely too heavily on this as conditions can change drastically especially in arid western environments.  

FarOut is all about community. One great example of this is that users can comment on way points. This is great for getting updates on the trail. Perhaps the trail was rerouted or there is some other hazard to be aware of. Or...maybe there’s a secret stash of gummy bears!  

One of the great things about this app is that once you’ve taken care of the initial set up you can use the app offline. This is huge, considering you’re not going to have any cell service in a lot of the places you’ll want to go.  

It also provides up to date reports such as trail closures which is awesome for areas in the west where controlled burns happen, or things of that nature.

farout guides is a great hiking app  


iNaturalist invites you to connect with nature in a whole new way. In fact, it’s one of the largest scale citizen science projects that has ever existed. The app aims to connect naturalists from all over the world to create tons of useful data for the scientific community. The way it works is pretty simple. Take a photo and then upload it to the platform. The app then gives you a few matches for what they think the photo is and then can be verified by experts who use the app.  

Basically, iNaturalist helps get you connected to nature by letting you learn what’s around you. You could learn a hundred new species of plants and animals from just a simple walk in the woods.  

Night Sky  

This is a great app for getting to know the constellations better. We love this app because it helps us get more connected to nature and appreciate and understand the night sky a little better. Night Sky has a very easy to use interface and all you have to do is point your phone up to the sky and see what the constellations are.  

Peak Finder 

Hey! Did you see that awesome mountain over there? Does it look like it would be an epic side trip or maybe its own day trip? Well, better open up the Peak Finder. This app makes it super simple to figure out what you’re looking at. Essentially, all you do is open up the app and point it at whatever you want. You have a few view options such as doing a camera overlay which is a cool

Alright, so that's our list of 8 hiking and outdoor apps that we love. Remember that when using apps it can be a drain on your battery life. We suggest picking up a West Slope Case before your next adventure. Our customers report 3x to 4x longer battery life on their devices when they store them in our cases. 

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1 comment

Would love Gaia if it wouldn’t stop tracking in the middle of hikes. I have Samsung phone and at any random point it will stop recording.
Workoutdoors sounded like a solution but apparently not for android.

Don Harper

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